There were two covers on the newsagent’s stand, one of Pete and the other of Carl. The selection of one or the other felt like a declaration, like picking a team, but that was just an illusion: The point of the covers wasn’t about being for Pete or for Carl. It was about being a Libertine regardless of your disparate allegiances and ideals, regardless of poetry or prose and which leap towards self-mythology was the least disappointing. In that seven day instant there was a cultural assumption that everyone was a Libertine. And, yes, that was just another illusion, but it was a really good one.
Archive for March, 2009
She wasn’t the girl at the crossroads.
Her Mum got us drunk because she saw how nervous we were, so I lost my virginity while my head swam in absinthe. Most of the days and nights in her bedroom have blended into one now, there were a lot of them.
For an impressionable mind the impetus of Evanescence’s ‘Bring Me To Life’ was one of flight while doves ‘There Goes The Fear’ conjured visions of escape. I hadn’t quite put the pieces together, but I would.
“Out of here, out of fear.” Almost.
Set: The black space of a cinema, surrounded by allies, the protagonist watches Daredevil. The soundtrack moves him more than the images.
“I hate female singers”
The girl at the crossroads smeared her make-up with tears and sang by my earlobe “bring me to life”.
She made mix CDs with sparse covers and told everyone “You have to love Green Day”. She wore wolly gloves up her arms and would grow into a rainbow of hair dye. She would sleep with my best friend, years later.
Contrary to popular opinion, Up The Bracket wasn’t the first formative musical attachment for me. I wallowed in the suburbs before finding a blueprint to escape it.
Up The Bracket was a landscape written in song.
In the suburbs the need for a swell of excitement triggered fantastical leaps of the imagination, dreamscapes within which one could step up and ascend. Eventually the step itself became became more significant, the act and need for motion dominating every waking thought.
Time for heroes? Almost.
One day I’m holding Natalie’s hand, the next I’m kissing Beth.
There are two copies of the NME on the newsagent’s shelf: One cover of Carl, the other of Pete.
Setting: the back rows of an Odeon, protagonist flitting between broken social groups, hamfistedly trying to glue them back together.
Music shouldn’t have mattered. Film mattered. Cinema was the ultimate escape, an opportunity to wallow in a dark room and be swept somewhere else.
In the suburbs of Hampshire excitement can and will bubble up from any direction. It has to. Something has to beat cycling the same frustrated routes between uniform redbrick.
Later, ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’ would try to bring together half a generation. It’s Bernard Butler’s delicate attention to jangle and spit that allows it to leap from the splintering older brothers who drank to Britpop and filter through into those then too young for New Wave. But not yet.
“Liminal? You mean this gang of junkies and drunks?” Thompson cut to the quick and sipped on his first beer of the day. It was a little after 9am and Morley was yet to arrive for breakfast at Veselka’s.
Two beautiful junkies wanted to tell stories. They met, that much is certain, and they wound each other up something rotten.
The boy looked at Johnny and said “My word, that was fun!”
The boy looked at Thomas and said “If she doesn’t love me I’ll jump off of that crane.”
“Life has surface noise” – Too fucking right.
At the fork in the road, where the girl stands, there are notices pertaining to dress codes. One refers to jumpers, the other to hoodies. I have to choose one.
Why did I stop drawing? Why did I start writing?
I started to listen, really listen, to music by accident. Steve Lamacq slipped on “Junkies and Whores” and it moved me to put down my pen. On reflection it could have been anything.
I started listening to Steve Lamacq by accident. I had begun to draw, copying freehand panels from comics and crudely inking this sketchy mimicry. His voice, rarely excited, started to open my ears.
I started listening to John Peel by accident. He was right after Steve Lamacq, and if I hadn’t finished drawing then I would work on through Melt Banana, field recordings and a soothing, scratchy husk that seemed to make the jumble of sounds reassuring.
Auteur: a filmmaker whose individual style and complete control over all elements of production give a film its personal and unique stamp.
For the longest time music wasn’t the issue.